"I just sort of got to the point where I had worked too much, so I stopped completely to be home," the Oscar winner, 34, tells W magazine for its September issue. "It's nice to get out of everyone's face for a while."
During her time off the screen, Paltrow married Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, in December 2003, then gave birth to daughter Apple in May 2004 and to son Moses in April 2006.
And while Paltrow expresses joy over being a mother – she takes a hands-on approach – when asked if she'd like to have more children, she replies, "I don't think so," then amends her answer to, "Well, definitely not right away. I have a dream version where I think, maybe in four years I'll have two in a row really quickly again – how fabulous to have a whole bunch of them!
"But then at that point, when everyone's potty-trained and sleeping through the night, are you really going to go back?" she wonders. "I'd also like to work now a bit. My husband really wants to adopt. So I don't know; I'm sort of open for anything."
Where work is concerned, she'll be seen over the coming months in the movies The Good Night, written and directed by her younger brother, Jake Paltrow, and Iron Man, costarring Robert Downey Jr. and based on the comic book.
In England Paltrow's closest friends are Madonna and Stella McCartney, while in Manhattan the Martins pal around with Christy Turlington Burns and Ed Burns, and other good pals are Michael Stipe, Helena Christensen, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, says W.
Still, Paltrow tells the magazine, she and Martin are just an ordinary husband and wife. "When Chris gets home," she says, "we're not going to do anything other than what any regular couple does."